Baltimore police try to find if sisters' deaths are linked

September 13, 1990

Baltimore police are trying to determine whether the deaths of two sisters found slain nine months apart are connected.

The body of the more recent victim, Ozaleia Nivens, 35, of the 1200 block of Sherwood Avenue, was found last Friday in a Dumpster behind a Moose Lodge in Sykesville, Carroll County.

Detective Donald Worden of the homicide unit said Ms. Nivens was nude and had been strangled. Family members had reported her missing earlier that morning.

Her estranged husband, Douglas Nivens, 37, was arrested Sunday and charged in the slaying, Detective Worden said.

He said the victim had obtained a court order prohibiting Mr. Nivens from going near her Northeast Baltimore home. Divorce papers had been delivered to him last week.

Last Dec. 5, Ms. Nivens' sister, Gail Sharon Smith, 26, of the 4500 block of Marble Hall Road, was found murdered in a vacant house in the 2000 block of Maryland Avenue. She also had been strangled.

A man chased his dog into the house and found the partially clothed body. The woman had been reported missing Nov. 15.

Police said they had no suspects or motive in that slaying.

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